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OH- He says he's now the victim

8-11-1997 Ohio:

McCOMB, Ohio -- A convicted child molester who accused his wife and two of her relatives of kidnapping and sexually assaulting him complains that they've turned him into a victim.

''Where I work, people know, and I have to face them. I get prank phone calls. A radio deejay in Toledo said they should get a medal for what they did. These women were torturing me,'' Rodney Hosler said at his parents' house in this northwestern Ohio village.

Hosler, who denies ever molesting a child, told police that five women entered his apartment on July 26 in the town of Delaware, about 70 miles away. He said three of the women sheared his pubic hair and the hair on his head, assaulted him anally with a cucumber, and put a heat-producing ointment on his genitals.

They scribbled ''child molester'' with black marker on several areas of his body, then drove him to McComb and dumped him outside a pizza parlor, clad only in a pink-and-green Minnie Mouse blanket.

''I am the victim, and I am being convicted,'' Hosler told The Columbus Dispatch, which published the interview Sunday.

Hosler, 27, said he thinks the attack was part of his wife's plan to get out of their marriage. He said he now wants a divorce and custody of one of their two children.

Relatives said the women feared Hosler was again molesting the child whom he was convicted of molesting in 1994. Hosler was released in January after serving his full two-year prison term for molesting the girl, who is now 7.

He denies that he ever molested the girl, saying he only pleaded guilty to spare the child a court battle.

Hosler complained that people all over the country know about the incident.

''My brother called and said it was on the news where he lives in New Jersey,'' Hosler said. ''What's next? Is Oprah Winfrey going to walk up.''

''At least my family thinks of me as a victim,'' he said. ''My friends are standing by me.''

Indicted on rape and kidnapping charges were his wife, Jewel Hosler, 28, of Delaware; her mother, Mary Franks, 44, of Sunbury; and Mrs. Hosler's aunt, Vickie Coulter, 39, of Delaware.

The other two women were not identified or charged.

Mrs. Hosler pleaded innocent and innocent by reason of insanity. Mrs. Franks and Ms. Coulter pleaded innocent. Each of the charges carries a possible three to 10 years in prison. ..more.. by AP

Women praised for avenging molester
9-14-1997 Ohio:

The way Doc Bradley sees it, Rodney Hosler got lucky.

Sure, Hosler was abducted, tortured, and sodomized with a cucumber by his wife, her mother and her aunt. Sure, the women scrawled "I am a child molester" all over his body, then dumped him in his hometown, naked except for a pink-and-green Minnie Mouse blanket.

But at least Hosler is alive. If he ever returns to Bradley's bar, now that people know he abused his 5-year-old stepdaughter, he might not be as fortunate. "Those women are heroes in this town," said Bradley, a bushy-bearded grandfather who used to serve drinks to Hosler. "The only thing is, they should've left their cucumber home and used a shotgun instead."

It sounds like a David Lynch version of "Thelma and Louise," but Ohio's so-called cucumber case also is a modern morality tale, a graphic display of America's growing frustration with pedophiles. People are losing faith in the justice system's ability to stop sexual predators from repeating their crimes, so they can identify with these angry women who tried to do it themselves. Hosler, 27, had to serve just 16 months in jail after pleading guilty to "gross sexual imposition" in 1995. The overwhelming sentiment here is that he got a more appropriate eye-for-an-eye punishment on July 26 from his wife, Jewel; her mother, Mary Franks; and her aunt, Vickie Coulter. "Those girls gave Rodney exactly what he deserved," said Lisa Gale, Rodney Hosler's neighbor and co-worker. "Now he knows how it feels to be molested."

Prosecutors, unimpressed by the women's brand of frontier justice, have charged all three with rape and kidnapping. Rick Franks, Mary's husband, also faces bribery charges for offering Rodney Hosler $3,000 to keep quiet. Authorities do not share the public's sympathy for the vigilantes. "It's a sad commentary on society," said Delaware County prosecutor Duncan Whitney. When it comes to sex offenses, he said, "the courts don't know how to deal with them, and neither does the public."

From the start, the marriage of Jewel and Rodney Hosler was a case study in dysfunctional family values, relatives said. They wed in January 1995, one month after she accused him of raping her daughter. She was a classic co-dependent, forgiving him no matter what, alienating the rest of her family. She urged prosecutors to accept a plea bargain for Rodney Hosler, supposedly to spare the girl the trauma of a trial. The rape charge was reduced.

Rodney Hosler admitted only to fondling the child and agreed to seek counseling. "I never intended to hurt her . . . and I know in my heart I never will again," he wrote. When he was released in January, his wife welcomed him into her new apartment in Delaware, a fast-growing Columbus suburb that is home to 23,000 people and Ohio Wesleyan University. Rodney landed a $6-an-hour job at a small factory, shipping the "creepers" that mechanics use to slide under cars. But the couple began a series of noisy spats, and Rodney began drinking. In early July, after a furious argument over his lewd comments about an underage baby sitter, Jewel Hosler tried to slash her wrists, and social workers placed her two daughters in foster care.

Still, no one could have predicted the bizarre events of July 26. According to Mary Plummer, Mary Franks' mother, the women's actions that day stemmed from the fact that they believed Rodney Hosler had been abusing the girl again after his release, although they never filed a complaint. Even Jewel Hosler, who always had defended Rodney, was finally convinced. "They just couldn't take it anymore," said Plummer, a retired factory worker.

"It's a shame it had to go so far, but these men never stop." Once the attack hit the news, neighbors began distributing fliers about Rodney Hosler and complaining that Ohio's new sex offender registration law had failed to notify them of his presence. Because of his plea bargain, he was classified only as a "sexually orientated offender," the mildest level. Prosecutor Whitney does not expect prospective jurors to feel sympathy for Rodney Hosler, but he will try to convince them to believe in the system.

Generous plea bargains, he said, are the only way to get most pedophiles to serve any jail time largely because women like Jewel Hosler refuse to stand up to their spouses. "If we didn't have plea bargains, the system would come to a screeching halt," Whitney said. "There are no easy answers. But when you hear all this talk about revenge, I don't think it has much to do with protecting children." ..more.. by MICHAEL GRUNWALD

Third Woman Pleads Guilty In Hosler Attack, Kidnapping

12-9-1997 Ohio:

DELAWARE (AP) -- A woman pleaded guilty Monday to the attempted rape and kidnapping of her son-in-law, a convicted child molester she reportedly was afraid was molesting the same child again.

Under a plea agreement, Mary Franks, 44, of Sunbury, pleaded guilty to one count each of attempted rape and kidnapping. She faces two to eight years in prison on each count.

The plea came on the first day of her trial in Delaware County Common Pleas Court. Because of the circumstances of the case, Judge Everett Krueger seated a jury to hear evidence and recommend a sentence for Franks.

The jury recommended 30 days in jail with community control and 500 hours of community service. The recommendation is non-binding but Krueger said it will be considered in Franks' sentencing, scheduled for Jan. 26.

Franks was one of three women -- along with her daughter Jewell Hosler and sister-in-law Vicki Coulter -- charged with sexually assaulting Rodney Hosler, 27, with a cucumber in his Delaware home on July 26. They allegedly wrote "child molester" with black marker on his body, then drove him an hour away and left him clad only in a blanket outside a McComb pizza parlor.

Franks was originally charged with rape and two counts of kidnapping, Krueger said. She pleaded to the lesser charge of attempted rape under the agreement and one of the kidnapping charges was dropped.

Mrs. Hosler, who has filed for divorce, and Ms. Coulter have already pleaded guilty to related charges.

Rodney Hosler had been released in January after serving two years in prison on a molestation charge. The child Hosler was convicted of molesting was related to all three women.

Mrs. Hosler, 28, pleaded guilty in October to kidnapping and attempted rape and was sentenced to two years in prison. A plea agreement required her to testify against her mother. Ms. Coulter, 39, also pleaded guilty to one count each of kidnapping and attempted rape. Her sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 8.

Mrs. Franks' husband, Richard, was charged with bribery and is scheduled for trial Dec. 16. He is accused of offering Rodney Hosler money to drop the charges.

Hosler told police he was watching television when the women entered his apartment, shaved his head and pubic hair, sexually assaulted him with a cucumber and put a heat-producing ointment on his genitals. ..more.. by

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